Hiram I

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Hiram I (Hebrew: חִירָם, "high-born"; Standard Hebrew Ḥiram, Tiberian vocalization Ḥîrām, Arabic: حيرام), according to the Bible, was the Phoenician king of Tyre. He reigned from 980 BC to 947 BC, succeeding his father, Abibaal. Hiram was succeeded as king of Tyre by his son Baal-Eser I.[1] Hiram is also mentioned in the writings of Menander of Ephesus, as preserved in Josephus’s Against Apion, where some additional information is given that is not found in the Bible. One such item is that Hiram lived 53 years, and reigned 34.

Contents

Reign

During Hiram's reign, Tyre grew from a satellite of Sidon into the most important of Phoenician cities, and the holder of a large trading empire. He suppressed the rebellion of the first Tyrean colony at Utica, near the later site of Carthage (Against Apion i:18).

The Bible says that he allied himself with King David of the United Kingdom of Israel as well as that the status of both Kings was equal and that the treaty between them was a parity treaty (2 Samuel 05:11, 1 Kings 05:01, 1 Chronicles 14:01). After the death of King David, Solomon, a son of David, succeeded to David's throne and Hiram continued the relation with Israel through King Solomon, the upcoming power of the region. They were also equal ("אחי", meaning "brothers" 1 Kings 9:13, Amos 1:9)[2] Through the alliance with Solomon, Hiram ensured himself access to the major trade routes to Egypt, Arabia and Mesopotamia. The two kings also joined forces in starting a trade route over the Red Sea, connecting the Israelite harbour of Ezion-Geber with a land called Ophir (2 Chronicles 8:16,17).

Both kings grew rich through this trade and Hiram sent Solomon architects, workmen and cedar wood to build the First Temple in Jerusalem. He also extended the Tyrean harbour, enlarged the city by joining the two islands on which it was built, and built a royal palace and a temple for Melqart (Against Apion i:17).

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